According to Review Journal, Ruffin, 80, pointed out that his company didn’t have any continued interest in The Mirage as his companies don’t pay rent, but prefer to own the real estate connected to its casino operations. He highlighted that the value of the casino was in the land; the resort has 300,000 square feet of convention space and a property of 65 acres.
Ruffin took over Treasure Island from MGM back in 2009 for $775 million and his 2,885-room resort is connected to The Mirage by an above ground tram. Both properties were built by Steve Wynn and then acquired by MGM in 2000. However, the need for cash forced MGM Resorts to sell Treasure Island to Ruffin nine years after it bought it.
It’s highly unlikely that there will be any future bids by Ruffin for The Mirage since MGM isn’t currently willing to abandon its Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) strategy, which it is founding in order to manage 10 properties owned by the group, The Mirage included.
The billionaire said The Mirage and Treasure Island had a very good relationship and his company “wants to keep that.” Therefore, this rejection is not expected to affect the collaboration between the operators. Ruffin also revealed that MGM’s Chairman Jim Murren had written a letter thanking him for the offer, but he “didn’t keep the letter.”
Phil Ruffin’s net worth is estimated at $2.4 billion and he’s known for being a partner with Donald Trump. Ruffin started building a reputation for himself in Las Vegas when he took over the New Frontier Hotel and Casino back in 1998; the casino was closed in 2007. Recently, he also acquired the Woodlands Racetrack in Kansas City, which he hopes to reopen very soon.